More purchases, but still no hiking

Next week it will have been two months since I've gone on a hike. Preparing to get back into hiking very soon, despite the long weeks of very hot and stormy weather. Met a few more people interested in hiking through a friend, so might have yet another hiking club I'll be able to join when I don't feel like going on my own. My allergies and asthma got better for awhile, then came back (but much less worse this time) for awhile, but I think I'm about ready to at least start slow by next week, if the weather isn't too killer hot.

Went to the big REI sale today. Bought another pair of merino wool hiking socks so that I won't have to wash the same pair every time I go. I also finally bought a pair of pants to hike in that aren't jeans, and they were almost $20 off the normal price! REI brand women's rendezvous convertible pants with UPF +50. It is a blend of 95% nylon and 5% spandex, and they seem very lightweight and roomy, which will be a great change after hiking in sticky, uncomfortable jeans for over a year. They're a petite size, so they actually will be just right with my boots on, and zip off just under the knee to convert into shorts if I get really overheated (though I'd like to avoid that and avoid ticks if I can, but it is nice to have the option). I also finally caved and got a membership at REI... this means 20% coupons, free rock climbing on their wall, and discount prices to some of their classes. Once I get into backpacking and needing more equipment, it will be nice to have those discounts too.

I can't wait to get back into the swing of things. Maybe next weekend...?

Health puts things on hold...

I haven't been hiking now in over a month, and I can really feel the difference in my moods because of it. But taking care of myself has to come first. This has been the worst allergy season I've had in years-- my allergy shots haven't been working and my asthma got so bad at one point I was using my nebulizer three or four times a day and having asthma attacks from even the most simple day-to-day actions. I was in no shape to be hiking at all, especially out in nature where I have a whole lovely list of pollens, molds, and grasses I'm allergic to. In the last week my allergies and asthma have finally started settling down, but I've promised myself that I am going to wait until I'm absolutely positive I am capable before heading out on a hike again, despite some gorgeous weather we've been having.

I did go see a free class offered by REI on Leave No Trace Behind. While I've done no backpacking in my life, camping and backpacking is something I have a lot of interest in and would really love to work up to. The seminar was really interesting and I learned a lot about Leave No Trace Behind. The talk was given by Ambre Tiggs, who runs Ginko Adventures, a local hiking/backpacking/rockclimbing/everything nature club. I have often thought about applying to go on one of her trips, and hopefully will sometime in the future. I was also introduced to the coordinator of the St. Louis Adventure Group (or SLAG) when I asked a question about opportunities to learn about wildlife first aid. I was invited to look into their group as well as a free way to meet people interested in outdoor activities as I am, and will probably look into that as well. While at REI, I also started looking for a nice pair of hiking pants I can wear in the summer that aren't jeans! I'll have to shell out at least $50 for this, but it seems like a sound investment to me!

So despite a dry month of indoor living, it was not all a waste. I'm hoping that in the next two weeks or so, I will feel confident enough in my health to start going back outdoors and maybe start building up to some hiking again soon! Maybe before St. Louis summer gets too unbearable!